University develops new training for employees on recognizing sexual misconduct

September 25, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of the 18 recommendations to fight sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus endorsed by President Barron in February, the University has developed a new training for employees, which will be launched in early October. All employees will be notified in October about their designation and what steps they need to take.

The training, "Recognizing and Reporting Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Sexual Misconduct," was developed by representatives from Student Affairs, the Affirmative Action Office, the Center for Women Students and the Office of Ethics and Compliance. It will be required for all employees to increase understanding of the issues involved in sexual misconduct, know the available campus and community resources and honor their reporting responsibilities.

There will be two versions of the training, one for “confidential employees” and one for “responsible employees.” Confidential employees are divided into two groups that have different responsibilities and obligations under the law. The first group, professional and pastoral counselors are not required to report any information under Title IX or the Clery Act. This group includes licensed mental health counselors, pastors, priests or any other pastoral counselor whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling to the campus community. It also includes individuals who are supervised by these people.

The second group of confidential employees, non-professional counselors or advocates should report aggregate data, but are not required to report incidents in a way that identifies the victim, unless they have his or her consent. They are defined as individuals who are not professional or pastoral counselors, but work or volunteer in on-campus sexual assault centers, victim advocacy offices, women’s centers or health centers, including front desk staff, students, social workers, doctors, medical staff or any other person with a license requiring confidentiality.  

All other employees will be designated as responsible, meaning that the majority of Penn State employees are responsible for reporting sexual misconduct when they become aware of it. All employees will be notified of their designations via email in October.

The training will be available through the Learning Resource Network. Employees with Penn State WebAccess accounts can access the system using single sign on at All others should follow the directions at Those who previously had accounts in Skillport have already had an account created for them in the LRN and should use the “forgot password” link. All others must create a new account.

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    Penn State employees and volunteers who successfully completed the first round of face-to-face professional training in child abuse prevention and reporting through the Office of Human Resources received a "We Are...We Care" badge.

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Last Updated September 25, 2015